Advanced Imaging


Advanced Imaging Magazine

Updated: July 8th, 2008 05:26 PM CDT

March Application Notes

The image Shimizu Port near Shizuoka city as observed by the PRISM aboard the ALOS.

Goodrich Technology Enables Japanís Advanced Earth Remote Sensing Satellite

The latest satellite in Japanís Earth observation fleet, the Advanced Land Observation Satellite, was recently launched with Goodrich Corporationís (Charlotte, N.C.) advanced, high-precision optical systems on board.

Developed by the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency, ALOS is one of the largest Japanese satellites ever sent into space. The main imaging instrument on ALOS is the Panchromatic Remote-sensing Instrument of Stereo Mapping, or PRISM, payload which will capture images on the Earth as small as 2.5-meters to support precision mapping. PRISM has three, Goodrich-produced optical sensors pointing forward, downward and backward along the craftís ground track as it orbits Earth. This arrangement provides high quality, three-dimensional imagery and can collect image areas on the Earth up to 70 kilometers wide.

Goodrichís Electro-Optical Systems team developed the advanced high precision optical systems in the three PRISM payload telescopes. Each telescope has a unique optical configuration allowing it to capture large areas on the ground. The Goodrich-produced mirrors for each of these lightweight systems are 0.6-meters in maximum dimension and are polished to a surface precision of better than 10 billionths of a meter.

The company also provided the attitude control hardware that supports precision pointing of the ALOS spacecraft to specific regions of the Earth. These items incorporate Goodrich proprietary fine balancing processes which dramatically reduce the disturbances imparted to the satellite.

The ALOS system will aid scientists in their search for natural resources, help cartographers around the world create more precise maps and provide support for disaster response.

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